A Norwich judge dismissed assault and weapons charges against convicted killer Ronnie Hinton this morning after the state notified the court that it would not be prosecuting the case.
The so-called "nolle" from prosecutor Juliana Waltersdorff came on the second day of Hinton's trial before Judge Barbara B. Jongbloed. The judge then granted defense attorney Matthew G. Berger's motion to dismiss the charges.
Both of the inmates that Hinton was accused of attacking had refused to testify at the trial, and the judge this morning sustained the defense's objection to the prosecution's attempt to enter one of the alleged victim's statements into evidence through another witness.
Hinton, 39, is serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release for fatally shooting three people in Hartford when he was 17. In the assault case, he was accused of attacking two fellow inmates at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in June 2011 with a shank fashioned from a toothbrush. He was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries following the June 4, 2011 incident in the G Pod housing unit at the Montville prison. The other two inmates, Jamar Sullivan and Eric Gooden, suffered less serious injuries and were treated at the prison.
All three men were charged in the altercation, which Hinton was accused of initiating after he was accused of being gay.
"Mr. Hinton was doing life and had nothing to lose by entering a guilty plea, but always maintained his innocence in this matter, and was looking forward to vindicating himself before a jury," Berger said this afternoon. "Nevertheless we respect the State's judgment in this matter."